Technology

Small Wind Installer Training Curriculum

With support from the Minnesota Office of Energy Security, Windustry partnered with wind installer experts to develop a Small Wind Installer Training Curriculum designed to prepare technical students for engagement in the growing small wind industry. Working with two of the nation's foremost small wind installers and trainers, Windustry created a cutting edge, state-of-the-art curriculum.

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Is Wind Electricity Right for You?

Bergey Excel-S wind turbine
The Bergey Excel-S is a popular small wind turbine.

Home Power magazine publishes an annual Wind Turbine Guide for considering and planning a wind energy electric system for home, farm, or business. The 2011 guide "Is Wind Electricity Right for You?" covers site evaluation, towers, and turbine choices. Wind energy experts Ian Woofenden and Mick Sagrillo review 24 small wind turbines with a detailed table of specifications along with wind installer survey results.

DOE Announces Funding Opportunity for Enhancing Short-Term Wind Forecasting

June, 2010 - Washington DC — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced funding for up to $6 million over two years to improve short-term wind energy forecasting. The funding will support projects that enhance the ability of utilities and electricity grid operators to forecast when and where generation from wind power will take place, allowing for improved utility operations. Electricity grid operators depend on accurate wind forecasts to predict and plan for the energy output of wind power plants in their system. By more accurately forecasting wind conditions up to six hours ahead, utilities operators can better predict the power generation of their wind plants, which reduces the cost and increases the reliability of integrating wind energy into the electricity grid. Improved wind forecasting has the potential to achieve substantial savings in annual grid production costs, and these benefits are expected to increase significantly as national wind deployment accelerates. Innovation in this area will help wind and other renewable energy sources meet more and more of the nation's energy demand.

DOE to Invest $6 Million in Midsize Wind Turbine Technology Development

U.S. Department of Energy

Washington DC — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the availability of up to $6 million to advance midsize wind turbine technology in order to boost the speed and scale of midsize turbine deployment. DOE will provide the funding over two years to accelerate the development, testing, and commercialization of domestically manufactured, midsize wind turbines with rated generating capacities between 100 kilowatts and 1 megawatt. Through this funding opportunity, DOE will leverage private-sector technology investment by providing cost-shared partnerships to qualified projects in support of the Administration's drive to create clean-energy jobs, and promote economic development and energy independence. DOE anticipates making up to four initial grants under this competitive solicitation.

Offshore Wind Potential in the United States

Floating Wind Turbine ConceptsIn June, a large-scale floating turbine was installed off the coast of Norway by companies StatoilHydro and Siemens. The floating turbine, dubbed the Hywind, is located in water that is about 700 feet deep. This is significantly deeper than previously installed offshore turbines whose fixed-bottom structures required a water depth of only about 100 feet.

The United States has yet to install any offshore wind turbines, partially because appropriate turbine designs, like the floating turbines, are still being researched, said Jason Jonkman, a senior engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

"Offshore wind energy must progress in stages in the U.S.," he said. "Before deepwater floating wind energy can become a reality, we must ‘get our feet wet' so to say by first installing fixed-bottom offshore wind turbines in shallow water, less than 30m. Once we have experience with that technology, we can move to deeper water."

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